Written by PETA
If you've ever felt frustrated when you've read that an animal abuser was slapped with a puny penalty or that an authority pooh-poohed a plea for compassion, you're sure to exclaim "Bravo, Bulgaria!" by the end of this post.
A week ago, Bulgarian agriculture minister Miroslav Naydenov was asked by animal defenders to strengthen penalties that animal abusers must face after an unidentified person tortured a dog named Mima by hacking off her legs—yes, all of them—and leaving her for dead. Lawmakers, lawyers, and others got right down to business, and one week later, Naydenov is ready to present an amendment in the National Assembly, and it is expected to pass easily.
Under the amended law, anyone found guilty of causing permanent injury or death to an animal will face one to three years in jail and fines that may exceed US$10,000 (thanks, currency converter). Repeat offenders or those who torture and/or kill animals in front of children will face up to five years imprisonment and doubled fines.
While the law did not come in time to make Mima's torturer pause and consider the consequences of his or her stomach-turning cruelty, it does send a message to would-be animal abusers that they'll face more than a slap on the wrist if they are caught and convicted.
The moral of this story is always to ask decisionmakers to take action on behalf of animals. Who knows? Their response just might surprise you.
Written by Karin Bennett
Deflocked, baby. Deflocked.
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
Of course, they could have just asked us. But this recent finding by the US National Research Council is very good news for animals suffering in laboratories. According to the study,
"Recent advances in systems biology, testing in cells and tissues, and related scientific fields offer the potential to fundamentally change the way chemicals are tested for risks they may pose to humans. …The new approach would generate more-relevant data to evaluate risks people face, expand the number of chemicals that could be scrutinised, and reduce the time, money, and animals involved in testing."
I guess research councils take longer than the rest of us to figure out that animals just don't work the same way as humans, but it's great to see that they've finally figured it out. You can read The Daily Telegraph's take on the study here, and for those of you with a more academic disposition—or just a whole lot of time on your hands—the full study is available here.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.